WAYNE, Neb. — The Wayne State Foundation is the latest to announce its data is being compromised by Blackbaud, Inc.
In July, the foundation was notified of a ransomware attack which started in February of 2020.
A database for Wayne State and many other not-for-profits called Blackbaud had paid a demand to an attacker. The attacker then destroyed or possibly shared information — including bank account information, usernames, passwords and social security numbers.
The Wayne State Foundation, the fundraising arm of Wayne State College, recommends donors and alumni place fraud alerts on their credit file, a security freeze or enroll in identity theft protection.
The breach affects not just donors, but also alumni who have never given to the Wayne State Foundation.
According to the northeast Nebraska school, students’ social security numbers were gathered by Wayne State and used as student ID numbers. That information was then transported over to the foundation upon graduation. The school says they have since deleted all social security numbers from their system, but the breach at Blackbaud happened before they could removed them.
Kevin Armstrong, CEO of the foundation and an alumnus of the college, said the school was unaware of the breach when it started removing social security numbers from its database in April. He said he did not have a time frame for how long the college had used social security numbers as IDs, but said the school now assigns unique identification numbers not associated with social security numbers.
“We don’t need that information,” Armstrong said. “So we decided to delete it on our own.”
Armstrong said the law firm assisting Wayne State and several other non-profits affected by the breach has had no reports of anyone’s information being used for fraudulent activity.
Even so, Armstrong said the college is providing a year’s worth of TransUnion’s credit protection for free for Wayne State graduates who may have been affected.
“Even though this thing involved a third party, we take ownership of what happened, and we’re doing everything we can to assist our alums,” Armstrong said.